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Second Address to a Son: Wisdom Provides Protection

My son, if you accept my words,
if you store up my commands within you,
    by paying attention[a] to wisdom with your ear,
    by reaching out for understanding with your heart,
if indeed you call out for intelligence,
if you raise your voice for understanding,
if you search for it like silver,
if you hunt for it like hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord,
then you will find the knowledge of God,
because the Lord gives wisdom.
Knowledge and understanding come from his mouth.
He stores up sound judgment for upright people.
He is a shield for those who walk in integrity.
He protects those who walk on paths of justice.
He guards the way of his favored ones.[b]
Then you will understand righteousness, justice,
    and fairness—every good path,
10 because wisdom will come into your heart,
and knowledge will be pleasant for your soul.
11 Foresight will stand guard over you.
Understanding will protect you.
12 It will save you from the evil way,
from the man who speaks perverse things,
13 from those who abandon upright paths
    in order to walk in the ways of darkness.
14 It will save you from those who enjoy doing evil,
from those who celebrate the twisted ways of evil,
15 from those whose paths are crooked,
and from those whose ways are devious.

Wisdom Protects You From the Adulterous Woman

16 Wisdom will save you from the immoral woman,[c]
from the unfaithful woman[d] with her seductive words,
17 who abandons the husband of her youth
and forgets the covenant of her God.
18 So she sinks down to death, which becomes her house.[e]
Her way of life leads down to the spirits of the dead.
19 All who enter her house never return.
They never reach the paths of life.

Admonition to Live Righteously

20 This is how to walk in the way of good people,
how to stay on the paths of the righteous.
21 Yes, the upright will live in the land,
and people with integrity will remain in it,
22 but wicked people will be cut off from the land,
and treacherous people will be torn out of it.

Footnotes

  1. Proverbs 2:2 Or so you can pay attention
  2. Proverbs 2:8 Or those who are merciful or those who have received his mercy
  3. Proverbs 2:16 Literally from the strange woman, that is, one who is married to another man
  4. Proverbs 2:16 Literally from the foreign woman, that is, one who is married to another man
  5. Proverbs 2:18 The line is difficult and the translation is uncertain.

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